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A Bar Mitzvah Delayed, But Not Denied, After 75 Years

SKOKIE (CBS) -- A celebration that was delayed for 75 years, finally took place last week in Skokie.

In 1939, as Mitchell Winthrop was about to turn 13, the Nazis invaded his native Poland.

He and his parents were forced into the Lodz ghetto.

His father starved to death.

He and his mother were sent to the Auschwitz death camp and separated.

He never saw her again.

As he told the story at the Illinois Holocaust Museum to a group of schoolchildren from the Cheder Lubavitch Jewish school, he mentioned that he'd never had a bar mitzvah.

One of the boys suggested, why not right now?

So the child guided him through Hebrew prayers he hadn't recited since childhood.

"I remembered them from 75 years ago," he said. "It was incredible."

Then, they all sang and danced.

With a picture of his murdered family beside him, Winthrop said it was as though they were finally celebrating with him.


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